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PPL annual report notes rise in licensing income

- 16 June 2014

PrintMusic rights collector PPL marked its 80th anniversary by reporting licensing income of £176.9m, up 4%, for the previous 12 month.

Growth came principally from broadcasting and online ‒ particularly commercial television ‒ and public performance, up by 5% and 7% respectively. During 2013, a record £152.2m was paid out to PPL’s 79,000 performer and 11,500 recording rightsholder members.

The annual report notes that the digital age has seen the creation of thousands of small recording companies ‒ often artist-owned ‒ for which licensing income is of particular importance. PPL also targeted growth areas for music performance, such as digital radio and gyms.

International income saw a 6% decline to £34.4m, even though PPL expanded agreements with overseas collectors, principally due to difficulties in extracting revenue from Germany ‒ the fourth largest overseas territory for income ‒ and Belgium. However, revenues from the three largest overseas markets, the US (29.4%), France  (11.6%) and Netherlands (8/9%) rose.

Fran Nervkla, PPL’s chairman, noted that in its first 50 years just £69m was collected. However, he lambasted what he saw as erosion of copyright, driven by politicians and academics. ‘It seems that as soon as one particular “copyright review” is completed, another one gets under way,’ he lamented.

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